Belladonna:
Canadian Artist

"Art is a recreation of reality according to the artists metaphysical value judgments".  This quote from Ayn Rand is the best definition of art I have ever come across.  It covers all art. Good and bad, from pop, to realism, to impressionism ..... People know what appeals to them.  Art that touches their metaphysical value system will be in harmony with their soul.  Every person is an individual, so is each painting, each style. Every painting ever painted comes from the soul of an artist.

I am not a photo realist. Nor do I try to be.  I sometimes use photos as a reference for my work.  Sometimes I use life, and sometimes my imagination will suffice.  As a ‘Romantic Realist’ painter, I try to improve on nature.  I do not paint what I see, I paint instead, what I would LIKE to see. I always, (even if subconsciously), enhance the things that appeal to me in my subjects.  I rearrange the world to be one of my vision. In this way, I create a world of my own making.  A world that is not there, and therefore, can never be captured on film.

I have always wanted to be a painter. My first works were preschool murals, in crayon, on the wall of my room. They were magnificent, (or so I thought), and it filled me with joy to do them. One day, my mother let me use her oil paints. I was 5. It was a disaster, and I spent a very sad hour in my room crying to think that I would never be good enough to paint my view of the world as I wanted it. My first year in high school, I did not sign up for art. I was afraid to fail at something I wanted so badly. My second year I decided that school was there to teach me. I took art at last.  My teacher accused me of handing in my mother’s paintings and almost failed me, until I started, and finished, a complete painting in his class. It was an exercise in black and white, a surreal portrait that I later sold to another student for $25.00. My first sale! I was a painter!

I left home young, and, not having enough money to by art, I painted to fill the empty walls. No gallery would even look at my work because I lacked the letters required after my name. Now I cannot paint fast enough to satisfy them. I have not been to university or collage, but I have read all that I could find of interest to me about art. I studied by copying paintings of painters that I admired. Da Vinci, Rembrant, Dali, David, Stinsky, Boris, and many others. They were, and still are, my best teachers.  I felt that they could show me the way if only I could understand what they were telling me. Even today, when I have achieved some measure of success, I still hunt for the answers in the works of the masters.

I have always painted solely for my own pleasure, refusing commissions that do not interest me. Each painting has it’s own unique problems to solve. Each painting is a challenge. Each painting is a pleasure. Each painting is an original. I want to bring a moment of quiet reflection to the viewer, a pause in time, a moment of peace, a bit of beauty.  There is so much pain in the world. So many hurts, and wounds that are slow to heal.  I have no wish to add to it with my work. Instead I would call the viewer away from that for a while, to take a moment to appreciate the good things around them. I saw a sunset once so beautiful, that it alone, was enough to keep me going for the rest of my life. It was a moment of fleeting beauty that will be mine forever. There are so many things that I would show to you.  I could not paint it all in 10 lifetimes, but because I am an artist, I will try.

For more information about Belladonna’s life and work, visit her page at http://www.geocities.com/belladonna_s

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